CHEZ KANE – 23.11.2023 – TROON

VENUE: Troon Concert HallDATE: 23.11.2023 ORGANIZER: WinterStorm Festival (Plan B Events)PHOTOGRAPHER: C. NepperPhotos copyrights belong to the photographer. No unauthorized usage allowed. Please contact photographer if you wish to reuse images in any context.   Welsh vocalist and melodic hard rock sensation Chez Kane played the main stage at the brilliant WinterStorm festival on the…

BAD RAIN – Room to Breathe

RELEASE YEAR: 2023  BAND URL: https://badrainmusic.bandcamp.com/album/room-to-breathe-ep-pre-order The German/British outfit Bad Rain turned out to be a mighty fine surprise and a most welcome listen to these ears in that this skilled constellation of musicians dabbles in melodically strong and potent hard rock that sounds current while simultaneously paying respect to some of the greatest bands of…

RIVAL SONS – 16.11.2023 – BERGEN

VENUE: ForumDATE: 16.11.2023 ORGANIZER: Bergen LivePHOTOGRAPHER: C. NepperPhotos copyrights belong to the photographer. No unauthorized usage allowed. Please contact photographer if you wish to reuse images in any context.   American rockers Rival Sons were back at the Forum in Bergen on a dark and cold Thursday night – and what a night it was!…

EDGE OF PARADISE – Halo

RELEASE YEAR: 2023 BAND URL: http://www.edgeofparadiseband.co/ Also American and not that far removed in vein from A Dark Halo (whose 2nd full length I’ve just reviewed giving it a 5/6) the Californian alternative rock and metal quintet Edge Of Paradise released their 5th album Halo²⁰²³ on Frontiers Records on July 14th to follow Immortal Waltz²⁰¹⁵,…

VEGA – Battlelines

RELEASE YEAR: 2023  BAND URL: https://www.vegaofficial.co.uk/ The previous full-length effort by these awesome British rockers was good albeit slightly uneven to these ears, but this crisp sounding new opus by the quintet is a totally different story. In short, Battlelines is Vega doing what they do best, meaning there is an abundance of tasty hooks, phenomenal…

RIVAL SONS – Lightbringer

RELEASE YEAR: 2023  BAND URL: https://www.rivalsons.com/ No other outfit executes raw, vibrant hard rock quite like Rival Sons, and it is always a treat to hear and experience what these skilled Americans are up to in terms of their live activities and studio work. As to the latter, what we have here is their upcoming slice…

BLACKBIRD ANGELS – Solsorte

RELEASE YEAR: 2023  BAND URL: https://www.facebook.com/traciiguns/ Blackbird Angels turned out to be a very cool and pleasant surprise in that it sees such skilled musicians as Tracii Guns (guitars), Todd Kerns (vocals), and Adam Hamilton (drums) teaming up to deliver a raw and raunchy slab of blues-infested hard rock. Two things that immediately came to mind…

STATUS QUO – Official Archive Series Vol. 1, Amsterdam 2010

RELEASE YEAR: 2023  BAND URL: https://www.statusquo.co.uk/ This nicely packaged offering by legendary British boogie rockers Status Quo is a real treat to the eyes and ears; the booklet, band pictures, and overall layout look killer, and the actual musical content kicks ass. Recorded at the well-known Heineken Hall in Amsterdam back in October of 2010, these…

RONNIE ROMERO – Too Many Lies, Too Many Masters

RELEASE YEAR: 2023  BAND URL: https://www.facebook.com/ronnieromeroofficial/ Ever since becoming acquainted with the insanely talented singer Ronnie Romero thanks to a certain Ritchie Blackmore and his re-forming of the great Rainbow back in 2016, I have done my utmost to follow Romero’s career and work. His discography appears rather vast these days as he’s been working with…

STRANGE CALLS AND SKYLINES – AN INTERVIEW WITH EDIT THE TIDE

Not that long ago a friend of mine pointed me in the direction of two deftly executed tracks on YouTube by an alternative rock outfit from South Wales named Edit the Tide. Now, the term alternative rock will only get you halfway there as there are hard rock flourishes and progressive elements to be found…

DEGREED – Public Address

RELEASE YEAR: 2023  BAND URL: https://degreedmusic.com/ The Swedish hard rock sensation Degreed are back with a follow-up to last year’s near-flawless Are You Ready, and it goes without saying that I had been looking forward to cranking Public Address up real loud in the living room. I shall keep things short here and merely state that…

VYPERA – Race of Time

RELEASE YEAR: 2023  BAND URL: https://www.facebook.com/Vyperaofficial Vypera hail from Sweden and dabble in hard rock and heavy metal that harken back to the eighties in terms of sound and style, which is usually a very good thing in my book, but sadly, this sophomore effort of theirs is a bit disappointing in that it lacks those…

JOEL HOEKSTRA’S 13 – Crash of Life

RELEASE YEAR: 2023  BAND URL: http://www.joelhoekstra.com/ The brilliant songwriter and guitarist Joel Hoekstra has not only done wonderful things for Whitesnake but also released a couple of fabulous solo records, the latest being this 12-track effort titled Crash of Life where he is joined by a stellar cast of friends and musicians, namely Vinny Appice, Tony…

ROBLEDO – Broken Soul

RELEASE YEAR: 2023  BAND URL: https://www.facebook.com/JAMESROBLEDOOFICCIAL/ ROBLEDO – Broken Soul I was and still am quite fond of James Robledo’s previous album, the one named Wanted Man, and I am pleased to announce that his latest solo effort titled Broken Soul sounds like the natural successor and follow-up to the 2021 release. Broken Soul is very…

JANET GARDNER & JUSTIN JAMES – No Strings

RELEASE YEAR: 2023BAND URL: https://www.facebook.com/JanetGardnerofficial/?locale=nb_NO Not being familiar with the previous offering titled Synergy by the skilled and musically powerful duo consisting of singer Janet Gardner and guitarist Justin James, I had no real idea what to expect when I popped this CD into the record player, but fortunately, I was in for a nice…

VARIOUS ARTISTS – Steel Bars – A Rock Tribute to Michael Bolton

RELEASE YEAR: 2023  BAND URL: https://www.frontiers.shop/new-releases/1580/v/a-steel-bars-a-tribute-to-michael-bolton-cd-jewelcase I was not entirely sure what to expect when I popped this CD, which is a melodic rock/AOR/hard rock tribute to none other than Michael Bolton, into the record player. Truth be told, I have fond memories of listening to Bolton’s songs on cassette tape when I was a kid,…

ART NATION – Inception

RELEASE YEAR: 2023  BAND URL: https://www.facebook.com/artnationswe/ Hard-hitting Swedish rockers Art Nation are back with a brand-new batch of energetic and hook-laden tunes that are stuffed with fist-pumping riffs, big vocal melodies, and punchy choruses. There is nothing radically different nor particularly original to what these guys does compared to many other acts out there, yet they…

THE DEFIANTS – Drive

RELEASE YEAR: 2023  BAND URL: https://www.facebook.com/TheDefiantsOfficial/ One can never really get enough of big, loud, and unapologetically catchy hard rock when it is well-written and charming, and that is exactly what the energetic Drive is. Featuring Paul Laine, Bruno Ravel, and Rob Marcello – all of whom you may associate with Danger Danger – and boasting…

PRIDE OF LIONS – Dream Higher

RELEASE YEAR: 2023  BAND URL: https://aprideoflions.com/ I am still quite enamored with Pride of Lion’s superbly crafted Fearless LP from 2017 and to a slightly lesser extent the follow-up from three years later entitled Lion Heart. Dream Higher bears all the hallmarks of its predecessors in terms of its sound and style, but sadly, the songwriting…

STARDUST – Kingdom of Illusion

RELEASE YEAR: 2023  BAND URL: https://www.facebook.com/stardustaor Hungarian hard rockers Stardust impressed me with their stellar Highway to Heartbreak opus from 2020, so naturally, I was excited about this brand-new offering named Kingdom of Illusion and curious as to how the eleven-track effort would compare to its predecessor. How do these compositions fare then? The short answer…

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